Course Syllabus

CMSC 131 - Section 01XX, 02XX, and 03XX

Object-Oriented Programming I

Fall 2016

Course Syllabus

Instructor: Pedram Sadeghian, Ph.D.  

E-mail:   (make sure you write the cs.  Please don't message via ELMS)

Office:  A.V. Williams 3251

Office Hours:   MWF 1 – 2 PM               

Other times by appointment

TAs: CMSC 131 Staff and Office Hours

Course Description: This is the first programming course for Computer Science majors with a focus on object-oriented programming. The goal of the course is to develop skills such as program design and testing as well as the implementation of programs using a graphical IDE. All programming will be done in Java.

Corequisite: MATH140; and permission of CMNS-Computer Science department.

Textbook:  None required. If you would like to have a textbook to supplement your understanding of Java you can use:

Another suggestion would be to get a copy of Java Foundations: Introduction Program Design and Data Structures by John Lewis, Peter DePasquale, Joseph Chase.

Major Topics (not strictly listed in order of presentation)

  • Intro to Computer Systems
  • Intro to Computational Thinking
  • Programming Basics:  Variables, Operators, Expressions, Statements, Methods
  • Java Text Input/Output
  • Logic and Conditionals
  • Loops
  • Principles of Object Oriented Programming
  • Basics of Program Design
  • Testing and Debugging
  • Java Memory Map
  • Arrays and Java ArrayLists
  • Polymorphism
  • Java Interfaces
  • Recursion


 Your final grade will be computed from the following components: 

Projects 25%
Lab Activities (e.g. Quizzes) 15%
Exam 1 10%
Exam 2 10%
Exam 3 10%
Final 30%

Letter grades will be assigned as follow:

90 ≤  A ≤ 100      80 ≤  B < 90      70 ≤  C < 80      60 ≤  D < 70      F < 60   

The upper/lower values of each range will be reserved for +/- grades.

Incomplete grades will only be given for medical illness or other dire circumstances.


  • Deadlines - Due dates and times for projects will be posted. You may submit a project up to 24 hours after it is due, but you will be penalized 10 points.  Please don't wait till the last minute to turn in your project. .  After the late period is over, it is a 0 (please turn in whatever you have to get partial credit before the late period is over). All projects will not have the same weights in the calculation of your final grade. 
  • Submit Server - You need to use the submit server for project submissions. We will not accept projects submitted otherwise (e.g., e-mail, etc.). Make sure that your project works in the submit server, otherwise you will not get any credit. You are expected to use the Eclipse IDE to develop your programs.
  • Closed Projects - All projects in this course are to be written individually. Cooperation between students is a violation of the Code of Academic Integrity. Remember the purpose of projects is for you to learn the class material..

Quizzes:  Quizzes will be given in lab.

Exams:   The tentative dates for the exams are:

Exam 1 - Friday, October 7th 

Exam 2 - Friday, November 4th 

Exam 3 - Friday, December 2nd

The exams will be given during the lecture period.

Final Exam: The date and time for all three sections is Thursday, December 15th at 4 PM (location to be announced).

Grading Concern:  Once we have graded any class material (e.g., exams, projects, etc.) we will post a deadline by which you must submit any regrade request if you think there is a grading error. It is your responsibility to submit regrade requests by the specified deadline; no regrade requests will be processed afterwards.

TA Room/Office Hours:  Office hours get extremely busy the day before a project deadline. Therefore do not wait to start your projects. Regarding office hours and the TA Room:

  • Once you have been helped by a TA, please leave the TA room. We have a large number of students in all of our classes, and the TA room is really crowded. Thank you for help on this matter.
  • If there is a line of students waiting, a TA can spend at most 5 minutes with a student.
  • We are happy to answer questions, but it is your responsibility to debug your code.

Academic Integrity:

Note that academic dishonesty includes not only cheating, fabrication, and plagiarism, but also includes helping other students commit acts of academic dishonesty by allowing them to obtain copies of your work. In short, all submitted work must be your own. Cases of academic dishonesty will be pursued to the fullest extent possible as stipulated by the Office of Student Conduct.

It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit

Examples of Academic Integrity Violations

The following are examples of academic integrity violations:

  • Hardcoding of results in a project assignment. Hardcoding refers to attempting to make a program appear as if it works correctly (e.g., printing expected results for a test).
  • Using any code available on the internet/web or any other source. For example, using code from Sourceforge.
  • Hiring any online service to complete an assignment for you.
  • You may not post the implementation of your assignments, materials related to the class (e.g., project description), or any other material associated with this course. Even if the class is over and you have graduated, you may NOT post any material. If you do, you might be violating academic integrity rules and copyrights.
  • Discussing projects with your classmates.
  • Sharing your code or your student tests with any student.
  • Providing ideas/suggestions on how to solve/implement a programming assignment.
  • Looking at another student's code.
  • Using online forums to ask for help regarding our assignments.

Excused Absence and Academic Accommodations:

Any student who needs to be excused for an absence from a single lecture or lab due to a medically necessitated absence shall:

  1. Make a reasonable attempt to inform the instructor of his/her illness prior to the class.
  2. Upon returning to the class, present their instructor with a self-signed note attesting to the date of their illness. Each note must contain an acknowledgment by the student that the information provided is true and correct. Providing false information to University officials is prohibited under Part 9(i) of the Code of Student Conduct (V-1.00(B) University of Maryland Code of Student Conduct) and may result in disciplinary action.
  3. This self-documentation may not be used for the Major Scheduled Grading Events as defined below and it may only be used for only 1 class meeting during the semester.

Any student who needs to be excused for a prolonged absence (2 or more consecutive class meetings) or for a Major Scheduled Grading Event, must provide written documentation of the illness from the Health Center or from an outside health care provider. This documentation must verify dates of treatment and indicate the time frame that the student was unable to meet academic responsibilities. No diagnostic information will ever be requested. The Major Scheduled Grading Events for this course include: the projects, lab activites (e.g. quizzes), exams, and the final exam

It is also the student's responsibility to inform the instructor of any intended absences  for religious observances in advance. Notice should be provided as soon as possible, but no later than the Monday prior to the quizzes, exams, or the final exam.

Disability Support Services: Any student eligible for and requesting reasonable academic accommodations due to a disability is requested to provide, to the instructor in office hours, a letter of accommodation from the Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) within the first two weeks of the semester. If special accommodations are to be given for any exam, then the student is also required to schedule the exam and provide to the instructor (before/after class) the form that specifies the scheduled time and date of the requested accommodation. This form must be provided at least four days before the exam. Please note that the time/date of the scheduled exam should overlap with the time/date of the regular in-class exam. 


  • If possible, please bring a laptop to your discussion (lab) session and to lectures. 
  • At the end of the course, visit to complete your course evaluations.
  • If you are experiencing difficulties in keeping up with the academic demands of this course, you may contact the Learning Assistance Service located at 2202 Shoemaker Building.
  • Please read course related policies at the University.


All course materials are copyright UMCP, Department of Computer Science © 2016. All rights reserved. Students are permitted to use course materials for their own personal use only. Course materials may not be distributed publicly or provided to others (excepting other students in the course), in any way or format.

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